Nova Scotia Election Campaign- more discussion still

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KenS
Nova Scotia Election Campaign- more discussion still
Sharon

I'm posting to bring this thread to the top of TAT, Ken.  I [URL=http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/sharon-fraser/2009/05/parsing-punditry] blogged[/URL] recently about some of the punditry around the campaign. I'm now thinking about other aspects of media coverage that should be discussed. Perhaps later today.

genstrike
JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Stockholm, I agree with you re seat projections. They have a VERY brief description of how they did it and it seems well, let's just say I am not certain I'd accept it. But that is a tricky thing to do for any firm and almost foolish really, given our first past the post system. And an election where so many seats are so close! (They DO say 4 seats could also go NDP but I suspect that too is based on guesswork and past elections which are not always indicators of future performance. Often they are but change a candidate, an element in the riding, the boundaries, many factors and voila, it means not that much.)

As I said, I still believe our canvassing gives us our best answer - and the fact that signs are flying out of various HQ's. I have a colleague in politics who decides by signs but I think you need more than that BUT lawn signs do indeed show that people plan to vote NDP. Very few ppl take a lawn sign unless they are voting for that party! Huge signs placed by parties in strategic locations show good organization but that's all. Tho one needs excellent org on e day to get out the vote based on good canvassing!

KenS

Nova Insights did not give ANY description of how did their seat projection. The reasons you give are why to doubt anybody's seat projections- those exist, but mathematical model projections are as good overall [which is all that matters] as any other methods that take account of all those mitigating factors you mention.

Ay any rate, on top of all those general objections to mathematical model seat projections... this one is base on a poll with a margin of error of 5%.

Notable that Don Mills, with lots more polling experience and based on polls with the conventional 3% margin of error, didn't give seat projection numbers... he simply said that his seat projections make him confident the NDP will be government.

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Yes and I suspect Don's motives more than I suspect this group who several Boards I have been on (inc two univ's have used). Don may be right but even with 5% if that is what it is, (I have read their methodology - read their web site- and it IS very brief which is what I meant, brief and not as explicit as I'd like). I do know they work BUT they have to be done well and I am not even sure Don could do them, but then I do not have that much confidence in him to begin with. He is always writing me notes  about how to this that and the other thing which really makes me wonder about his firm's methodology.

One does have to wonder if they want people to think OMG, an NDP majority but I honestly do not believe save perhaps a few people (ie voters) that the big bad NDP will become govt and if it is a majority, we wil be in trouble The old socialist bogeyman again or bogey person if you will. <g> I do not hesitate in calling myself a socialist but in a speech to a certain riding, I have no trouble calling it democratic socialism or social democracy of that works better to get elected. I no longer (as I did when I was younger) sacrifice certain words in order to get elected. I used to believe in moral victories and the closer one comes to victory, the more that changes. It does not mean I have changed in my views. This may put me in Marilla S's leftist camp but I don't care. Are we not a left wing Party because if we are not, we might as well adhere to MacKenzzie King's infamous description of the former group of Progressives (that inclyded Agnes MacPhail, our first elected cdn woman MP!) that the Progressives (later the CCF and then the NDP) are "only  liberals in a hurry'." I am no liberal. And I have had to learn to be patient!

As for the poll, let's hope it is closer to the truth and the signs (no pun intended) I see re lawn signs flying out of HQ's and the positive responses canvassers bring back are almost better than a poll. Truly, in all the yrs I have done canvassing, they are almost never wrong!

 

I also have done polls for both L'Acadie Nouvelle in NB and Radio Canada and they both were incredulous and everyone said "no way!" yet I was right both times. <g>

 

Keep in mind that often polls can be used by parties to make people think they are winning. We did that once when an internal poll I did showed us winning in a certain riding and

I encouraged an anchor friend in the CBC to report it and he did (making it a lead story) and we truly believe it was a factor in winning that riding! So, I do think that poll

should be used to motivate the troops if anything else but also to make sure people get out and VOTE!! That is crucial - it all comes down to that! I am no armchair pundit, lol I have been in more campaigns as a campaign manager, a prov

party president, Federal Council rep, POW rep and I have the scars to prove it, lol And I have saved every Christmas card I ever received from Tommy Douglas which prob says something re my age tho I am not THAT old lol

 

Stockholm

I remember the 1990 Ontario election when just over a week before the election polls started shoiwng the NDP running away with it - a lot of talking heads nattered about how the appearance of polls showing the NDP winning would scare people into voting Liberal to stp the NDP - instead the NDP just kept gaining strength and won 74 out of 130 seats - including winning some seats where the party had no campaign on the ground whatsoever.

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Exactly Stockholm. Many voters, as silly as it sounds to those of us who love politics and work in the trenchs, want to "brag" thatthey "won" their vote so they vote for the party they believe will win. Makes no sense but I have also heard of ppl who vote by stranger methods, sigh!

Charles

Mills actually did do seat projectins, (posted on NoDice):

 

NDP: 22

PC: 17

Lib: 13

The Liberal number is I think spot on, but I think the NDP will be a little higher and the Tories lower...

Stockholm

The NDP has 20 seats right now. If the CRA poll was right and the NDP went up a couple of points to 37% and the Tories took a dive from 40% to 28% - I suspect that the NDP would gain more than just two seats.

David Young

If you look at the vote differentials in the ridings where the NDP came second to the P.C.'s in the 2006 election, it's not hard to tell that if there's been a shift of 10% of the voting population (7000 average per riding, 700 votes changing) towards the NDP from the P.C.'s, the following ridings are potential NDP pick-ups:

Chester-St. Margarets (1117)

Eastern Shore (361)

Guysborough-Sheet Harbour (225)

Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville (526)

Hants West (483)

Kings South (658)

Lunenburg (1200)

Lunenburg West (338)

A pick-up of 8 seats means NDP majority.

Stay tuned!

 

adma

Stockholm wrote:

I remember the 1990 Ontario election when just over a week before the election polls started shoiwng the NDP running away with it - a lot of talking heads nattered about how the appearance of polls showing the NDP winning would scare people into voting Liberal to stp the NDP - instead the NDP just kept gaining strength and won 74 out of 130 seats - including winning some seats where the party had no campaign on the ground whatsoever.

I can't recall if the NDP actually "kept gaining strength" or just held what said polls indicated--the really big shocker, in the end, was in how those numbers distributed themselves into a majority of seats and a whole lot of shock upsets and near-upsets and bizarre three-way split situations,  After all, 37% was supposedly a minority-level percentage, not a majority-level one...

alisea

You know something is happening when the *Cumberland South* campaign runs out of NDP signs and re-orders. We only had 750 *votes* in that riding last time, and now we have *hundreds* of signs -- and I mean that people have asked for, not voting trees :-).

The PC incumbent, Murray Scott, had over 75% of the vote last time. The NDP were second with ... 12%. One would think it's the safest Tory seat in the province, and it likely is. But still .. having to re-order signs in Cumberland South -- wow.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Could everyone please write [email protected]org and bug them to do a Nova Scotia seat by seat projection?  Offer to help spread the word, irritate bloggers into posting, and so on.  It's ridiculous that no one is running a seat by seat projection in 2009.  It's not like it's expensive.

David Young

Good luck with this!

I e-mailed the person who runs that web-site at the start of the Nova Scotia election campaign, asking if there would be one for Nova Scotia as there was for British Columbia, and I never received a reply.

But if I had to guess as to the results so far:

CAPE BRETON (9 SEATS)

RIDING                          2006      2009

CAPE BRETON CENTRE       NDP        NDP

CAPE BRETON NORTH        PC         TCTC

CAPE BRETON NOVA          NDP        NDP

CAPE BRETON SOUTH        LIB         LIB

CAPE BRETON WEST          PC         TCTC

GLACE BAY                       LIB        LIB

INVERNESS                       PC         PC

RICHMOND                      LIB         LIB

VICTORIA-THE LAKES        PC          TCTC

To be continued....

David Young

Continued from previous post!

HALIFAX METRO AREA (19 SEATS)

RIDING                                                2006      2009

BEDFORD-BIRCH COVE                            PC         PC

COLE HARBOUR                                      NDP       NDP

COLE HARBOUR-EASTERN PASSAGE           NDP       NDP

DARTMOUTH EAST                                  NDP       NDP

DARTMOUTH NORTH                               NDP       NDP

DARTMOUTH SOUTH-PORTLAND VALLEY    NDP       NDP

EASTERN SHORE                                     PC         NDP

HALIFAX-ATLANTIC                                 NDP       NDP

HALIFAX-CHEBUCTO                               NDP       NDP

HALIFAX-CITADEL                                   NDP       TCTC

HALIFAX-CLAYTON PARK                          LIB        TCTC

HALIFAX-FAIRVIEW                                 NDP        NDP

HALIFAX-NEEDHAM                                  NDP        NDP

HAMMONDS PLAINS-UPPER SACKVILLE       PC         TCTC

PRESTON                                               LIB         LIB

SACKVILLE-COBEQUID                             NDP        NDP

TIMBERLEA-PROSPECT                             NDP        NDP

To be continued...!

David Young

Continued from previous post!

RURAL NOVA SCOTIA (26 SEATS)

RIDING                                             2006           2009

ANNAPOLIS                                          LIB        LIB

ANTIGONISH                                        PC         PC

ARGYLE                                               LIB        LIB

CHESTER-ST. MARGARET'S                     PC        TCTC

CLARE                                                 LIB        LIB

COLCHESTER-MUSQUODOBOIT VALLEY    PC         PC

COLCHESTER NORTH                             PC         PC

CUMBERLAND NORTH                             PC        TCTC

CUMBERLAND SOUTH                             PC         PC

DIGBY-ANNAPOLIS                                 LIB        LIB

GUYSBOROUGH-SHEET HARBOUR            PC         NDP

HANTS EAST                                         NDP        NDP

HANTS WEST                                        PC         TCTC

KINGS NORTH                                       PC         PC

KINGS SOUTH                                       PC         TCTC

KINGS WEST                                        LIB         LIB

LUNENBURG                                          PC         TCTC

LUNENBURG WEST                                 PC         TCTC

PICTOU CENTRE                                    PC         PC

PICTOU EAST                                       NDP        TCTC

PICTOU WEST                                      NDP        NDP

QUEENS                                               NDP        TCTC

SHELBURNE                                          NDP        TCTC

TRURO-BIBLE HILL                                PC         TCTC

YARMOUTH                                          PC          PC

 

CORRECTION:  I should have included WAVERLEY-FALL RIVER-BEAVER BANK in with HALIFAX METRO AREA

WAVERLEY-FALL RIVER-BEAVER BANK       NDP        TCTC

RESULTS:   NDP -   17

                PC -      9

                LIB -     9

                TCTC -  17

Stay tuned!

 

NDP

adma

Marritimarr wrote:

Could everyone please write [email protected] and bug them to do a Nova Scotia seat by seat projection?  Offer to help spread the word, irritate bloggers into posting, and so on.  It's ridiculous that no one is running a seat by seat projection in 2009.  It's not like it's expensive.

Too late for EPP--it's like asking someone to wrote a 100 page essay 24 hours before the deadline.  (Besides, other than one New Brunswick thing two elections ago, EPP's mostly stuck to national/Ontario/Quebec/BC.)

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:
winning some seats where the party had no campaign on the ground whatsoever.

Remember what happened after the 1990 election:  Total collapse of the Ontario NDP.  Majorities are not the friends of rookie parties, often.  Especially not ones that make too many promises.  Or where the leader is so incapable of comprehension that he wants to subsidize coal power - when the coal comes from mines in Colombia where union leaders are murdered.  What kind of NDP is that?

Quote:

other than one New Brunswick thing two elections ago, EPP's mostly stuck to national/Ontario/Quebec/BC.

Two elections ago NB did not have a lot of people commenting on provincial politics.  NS is significantly larger and certainly has a much more lively and active and competitive media.  And three competitive parties.  And a Green Party.  And people that love griping, disagreeing, trolling and generally behave like pirates.  So this is not an argument not to cover an NS election *today*.

Too bad we're losing Jim Nunn.  Who else is going to point out to all the party leaders, to their face, that the nasty accusations in all the other parties' attack ads are correct, justified and fair?  (no :) )

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Sticking to the three seats I've discussed, I agree all three are TCTC:

 

LUNENBURG                                          PC         TCTC

LUNENBURG WEST                                 PC         TCTC

QUEENS                                               NDP        TCTC

 

Whatever anger there is to the Liberals in Bridgewater over the ships on the waterfront is confined to the east side of the river:  There's a sign saying "Sink the Ship Man" beside a Liberal sign there.  But on the other side of the river where Mark Furey is running, the only sign protesting the ships is right beside a Furey sign.  Furey has surprising presence all the way down the river, it is certainly not a PC vs. NDP race there.  Signs in Bridgewater itself appear very evenly distributed, no one seems to have an edge.

All three incumbents (though technically Zwicker is not quite incumbent) support a radical upgrade to Municipality of District of Lunenburg's notoriously primitive transport "system".  A Council meeting was held on this last night, and an open house, and the plan (from the EAC and conservation groups) is a good start.  Other than McNeil's promise of $10M for transit systems, it's not clear where the parties stand on this very important plan.  Conrad has generally got credit for moving it forward but gets no support from Halifax.  Local candidate Gary Ramey, as I noted above, has joined only one facebook group, that being to "twin the 103" and keep the area a commuter-shed.  Zwicker and Bolivar-Getson have been outspoken about the need for other transport options in MODL.

A provincial issue that plays into this is a pay-as-you-drive or pay-at-the-pump car insurance option, which would allow people to keep cars for emergency or weekend or once-a-week or once-a-month use, while primarily relying on walking, biking, taxi or bus.  Legalizing hitchhiking, perhaps with an ID card, is also mentioned as an option in the plan.  We'll see if the candidates speak up.

Other rural areas in Nova Scotia have this problem too, but the South Shore has many older densely populated areas, it's a tourist area where many people arrive without cars, or come in with RVs and then do not have easy access to get around without moving it from the campground.  If a rural bus plan is going to work anywhere that is not a university or urban area, it would be Lunenburg.

Stockholm

I also remember the Manitoba election of 1969 where the NDP (which had previously always  been a distant third party and no where near to being in contention) came out of no where to win a slender majority under Ed Schreyer. They governed effectively and were re-elected in 1973, then were out for one term, then came back in 1981 and won again in 1985, then were out for a while and have are now into their third term under Gary Doer - but it all started with a shocking vault from 3rd to 1st place in 1969...The NDP in NS is way more prepared to be in power than the Manitoba NDP was in 1969. The NS NDP caucus has a solid cast of veterans who have been there since 1998, the party has been participating in minority partlaiments and has been the de facto government in waiting for the past three years. My only point about 1990 in Ontario is that when parties make big gains in the popular vote - they almost always picking up some surprise seats that no one expected. IF, the NDP actually took 45% of the vote (and that would be amazing), i can guarantee that they would gain some seats that are not currently thought to be on the radar screen.

KenS

Even if the NSNDP were to get a number of surprise seats [and with that presumably, a majority] the candidates in those places are not like a number of the ONDP 1990 winning candidates who had NO idea what could happen to them and the party.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

The dynamics of this election have definitely shifted to an NDP majority-or-minority choice.  Now we get into the last ten days and the who's-going-to-blow-it question.  MacDonald can seal his tombstone simply by continuing his stupid attack ad campaign which has very clearly failed, or he could remind people that he has a solid track record on energy conservation (while Dexter wants to subsidize coal fired swimming pools, but the time to say that has passed) and changing NS' image to one of a generally high tech educated place to work.  McNeil will probably shift his campaign to get PC votes, but, it's hard to say if this can work - NS politics is more parochial than ideological.  I can much more easily see a PC voting NDP because of something a Liberal government did in the 1950s to his pappy, than I can see them voting Liberal to stop the NDP for ideological reasons.  The NDP and PCs in many ways represent the status quo, these are the parties whose debates have set the agenda for the past few years, and people might be scared of big changes to the way power, transport and communications are governed, meaning, McNeil's fairly aggressive program might scare off those who don't realize what's going on outside NS.  Hmm the PCs are right now running attack ads saying the NDP has no plan to create jobs which is not credible - the NDP always have a plan to create jobs, which is, hire more fulltime staff into government so more things slow down so more people complain so that more fulltime staff can be hired to deal with the "backlog" created by fulltime staff running everything.

Parkinson's Law:  The number of administrators in any organization grows irrespective of the work to be done by/in the organization.

Dexter could probably cement his lead and prevent losing votes to an anti-NDP campaign simply by picking up a few ecological (not energy) planks from the Green platform to reassure people disgusted by his coal subsidy, and promising to continue every PC conservation program and even keep the Premier's former Chief of Staff in her job at Conserve NS, because, frankly, she has really performed very well in it.  How many Conservatives ran ads featuring David Suzuki to promote energy conservation?  And the NS policy of forcing generation to compete watt-for-watt with conservation is state of the art, far better than any feed-in-tariff program (which Dexter should drop support for).  Dexter can outflank McNeil simply by promising to get that Churchill Falls power into NS and wipe out the coal plant, and could (more credibly than McNeil) threaten to retake provincial ownership of the power grid / market and kill NSP's monopoly.  It's relatively simple for Dexter to win, he just has to take a few green ideas from each one of his opponents - and also tell his fulltime staff that they should be insulating their swimming pools better instead of whining for cheaper coal power.

I predict a majority for Dexter if he does all that, regardless of what the others do.  If he does only some of it, he gets a minority.  If he does the opposite and starts pandering to constituencies that should not be pandered to, or tips his hand on massive hiring of new government staff, he'll lose, because the only thing anyone is afraid of with Dexter is that he'll give public sector unions everything they want.

KenS

I wish it were otherwise, but nobody needs to look more green to make headway in this election. And shifts in focus always have at least as much capability of backfiring in an election.

When the PCs started these predictable ad campaigns before the official campaign, besides them being dumb and desperate, I didn't prejudge that there is no chance they will work anymore. And it occured to me that even if they didn't work against the NDP, maybe they would help in a race for second place with the Liberals. But I don't see that now.

It may just be a case of thats the campaign the PCs planned for- ads included- and they're just going to follow through with it. Not changing midstream is not as bone headed as it sounds. But even if yoy accept that, it says nothing about the wisdom of the original course. [But even for that: what else was a chronically hapless no-talent outfit expected to do in a difficult situation for anyone?]

And I don't care what the polls say... this is not coming down to NDP minority or majority... however more likely the later looks. If we could see some internal polling with probing questions, or focus groups, I'll bet you'd find that a lot of the decided voters are very lightly comitted.

Plus, the simple fact there are 3 strong parties. We really don't have a lot of experience with that dynamic in Canada. The multiplicity of possibilities, and feedbacks between them, is really high.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

I agree with that, KenS, it's very dynamic, it's only this week it looks like NDP minority or majority, next week we'll see.

The parties are not as far apart on green issues as in other places, it's only the hot-button campaign points (subsidies to coal power, going after NS Power aggressively, rural transport) that contrast the parties, and in office all three will probably behave the same anyway.  Certainly in a minority.

With only a million people to campaign to, it's probably true that the campaign budgets are not there to re-assess a campaign strategy mid-stream and do a good job of it.  So if we see a shift it will be in how the leaders talk, and in which existing ads they run.

 

Stockholm

I noticed that the Liberal leader McNeil is promising to cut the gas tax and make gas and power cheaper. I guess that must make him the anti-environmental candidate!!

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

McNeil was being careful to say that the fuel tax cut was paid for by removing the bureaucracy of the silly gas-price-regulation system.  One could contest whether the system is really so inefficient to pay for such a cut.  Also it would maybe be time to ask how roads get paid for when people are driving electric cars and charging from the grid?

There's a huge difference between reducing people's power bills, which is good, and making each individual kilowatt cheaper, which is bad.  If McNeil said, like Dexter, that he thought if was government's duty to keep the price of each kilowatt down, then, that's news, and seems to contradict his earlier statements.

janfromthebruce

h/t to Buckdog at progblogs with this post: Nova Scotia Liberals Losing The Sign War - Now Want ALL ELECTIONS SIGNS DOWN NOW! LOL. Great pic of a row of NDP signs - hope that is Lundenburg!

"A Liberal candidate for the election in Nova Scotia has launched his better lawns and gardens platform."

Hopefully this lib walked his talk and took down his "few" signs - no reason to vote liberal and why encourage the voters!

 

 

remind remind's picture

"planned to remove his signs immediately after leaving the debate."

Oh "after" the debate,  he was going to remove them, and why oh why did he get them in the first place and why did  he not remove them before the debate? Oh yes of course, he is losing the sign war,  and saying "think of the tourists" to cover it! What  a wee desperate man!

And how does he know tourists are revolted? They called him?

David Young

janfromthebruce wrote:

h/t to Buckdog at progblogs with this post: Nova Scotia Liberals Losing The Sign War - Now Want ALL ELECTIONS SIGNS DOWN NOW! LOL. Great pic of a row of NDP signs - hope that is Lundenburg!

"A Liberal candidate for the election in Nova Scotia has launched his better lawns and gardens platform."

Hopefully this lib walked his talk and took down his "few" signs - no reason to vote liberal and why encourage the voters!

The picture is from Halifax-Citadel-Sable Island (Leonard Preyra NDP incumbent).

I was there at the debate last night.

Both P.C. Peter Zwicker and Liberal Rick Welsford were taking aim at New Democrat Pam Birdsall.

A Tory on the Board of Commerce got a loaded question entered for all the candidates to answer, but aimed right at Pam about a volunteer from Toronto who's working at her campaign office.

'Given the economic situation here in Lunenburg, is any member of your campaign team from outside Lunenburg?'

Makes you wonder if some of the local Tories resent anyone who doesn't have at least 8 generations in the local family trees, eh?

To me, that just means that the two old-line parties are scared that real change is coming.

By the way, Rick Welsford ran last time for the Liberals, but didn't get 15% of the vote, so the Liberals didn't get any campaign funds back, and had to start the campaign with his 2006 signs.  There weren't many Liberal signs anyway, so his plea to remove signs as of today got quite a few chuckles from the people at the debate.

Stay tuned!

 

remind remind's picture

In my experience, most of the questions in Board of Trade or CoC All Candidates forums are loaded, they choose what ones are politically freindly to the candidate of their choice, or that will have the least impact on them, and ignore the rest.

And what a piss ant question though, hello, the person from Toronto is a "volunteer" and thus their working for Pam Birdsall has no economic impact by way of depriving work from a local person! In fact,  that this person is from Tornonto, means they are leaving a net gain in the community that would not have been there, had they not been there volunteering. I would hope that was the response given?! Just a few years back the rate per person into a community was calculated to be about 119.00/day for Canadian visitors visiting another community in Canada. Which of course CoC know too!

Moreover, the hypocrisy of it all, seeing as how our own resident Con that inhabits babble is there in Nova Scotia all the way from Edmonton, helping the Tories out.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

old-line parties

"Old-line parties"?  LOL - hard to find an older line than the NDP's even though they've never been in office.  "Today's families", even.

They're not exactly running as the radical upstarts... If anything Dexter is running as the old reliable warhorse out of the three.  Isn't he also the oldest?

adma

Marritimarr wrote:
Two elections ago NB did not have a lot of people commenting on provincial politics.  NS is significantly larger and certainly has a much more lively and active and competitive media.  And three competitive parties.  And a Green Party.  And people that love griping, disagreeing, trolling and generally behave like pirates.  So this is not an argument not to cover an NS election *today*.

Yes, but it's too late for EPP.  You should've cattle-prodded Milton Chan a few months ago, not now.

Though it's interesting that there aren't any EPP-style imitators or proxies out there for NS, either--on the whole, I suppose the "election prediction website" phenomenon belongs more in the early part of the decade, when the discussion options were more limited.

Also AWOL: democraticSPACE (though I suppose a certain Babble contingent has excommunicated Greg Morrow by now, which is why *that* site hasn't been raised)

adma

And as much as we can look to Ontario 1990 as a negative case of "unprepared for power", I suppose that an example with more immediacy (chronological, if not ideological) was the ADQ's 2007-08 moment in the sun...

alisea

Rick Welsford goes down in history as the first man ever to say "Won't someone PLEASE think of the tourists?" Cool

McNeil has said nothing about paying for his gas tax cut by eliminating the *huge* gas tax regulation bureaucracy. In reality, there is no huge gas tax regulation bureaucracy. You don't need a whole lot of people to track the New York spot price, run it through a formula, and send the three options the matrix spits out up the line to a Cabinet minister's office. In fact, you're pushing hard to employ ONE whole person to do that.

McNeil has said over and over again that the Liberals will cut 4 cents off the motive fuel tax BECAUSE it will represent a substantial saving for NS truckers and other drivers. He says this will help stimulate the economy and create jobs - because it will make it easier to move people and goods around on the highways. It will be cheaper for people to drive. Period.

Dexter's take-the-HST-off-electricity is a seemingly tempting target for environmentalists, but the demand for electricity is inelastic compared to that for gasoline. People will adjust their driving habits in response to fluctuations in gasoline price. Electricity? People are still going to want to sit in a lighted room, wash their clothes in an electric washer, and -- if they use it for heat -- be reasonably warm in the winter. Taking the HST off lowers a power bill slightly - and when you're on a fixed or low income that means a lot. $15 or $25 doesn't encourage consumption, but it makes one hell of a difference if you're low income - and I would remind you that the average income in NS is less than $35,000. (And do give me a list of those NDP staffer with swimming pools, heated or not. I'll be right over.)

The great anti-NDP-they're-pro-coal argument is hogwash. There is no quick, easy solution to wean NS off that lamentable power source. Successive Liberal and Conservative governments saw to that when they:

- privatised Nova Scotia power

- sunk hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars into building coal-fired plants to keep Cape Breton mines running

- subsidized and enabled strip mines in the northern mainland and on Boularderie Island

- refused to allow small power producers sell to the grid - starting way back in the 80s.

The NDP is fully in favour of feed-in tariffs. The NDP's spent a lot of time talking to producers of renewables, large and small, for well over a decade, and that's what they say they need, who are trying to produce and sell power. No one's said it's going to be easy, or trivial. 

The Liberal ideas are typical of a third party. Some of them sound remarkably similar to the NDP of two decades ago. We'll do this! We'll support that! Ooh, you're a special interest group - cool! we'll give you everything you want! ... Just don't ask how we'll pay for it. There are all those marvellous government revenues, after all.

But the NDP is going after what works, what will provide solutions, and what Nova Scotia can afford now that the MacDonald Tories have racked up a quarter of a billion dollars in deficit this year alone -- not a bunch of magic policy wands sprinkling good idea pixie dust.

Folks, we're paying just a hair under a BILLION dollars in interest on our accumulated debt, courtesy of Liberal and Tory governments. Just think what, in a province of a million people, we could be doing with an extra billion in revenue each year.

That's why Darrell's cautious, and prudent, and damned allergic to adding to that debt - because he knows it's strangling us. 

So, yeah, no magic pixie dust policy wands. Just cautious, pragmatic, good governance, with transparency and honesty - a combination that Nova Scotia's never known in my lifetime.

remind remind's picture

adma wrote:
Also AWOL: democraticSPACE (though I suppose a certain Babble contingent has excommunicated Greg Morrow by now, which is why *that* site hasn't been raised)

Pffft, he rendered himself pointless and non-credible through his own deceit

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

McNeil certainly linked the fuel tax cut to the cost of running a regulatory bureaucracy in the first debate.  I agree it could not cost four cents per litre to run.  However the New York spot price is a scam, speculators were able to consistently run up the price for oil and for gasoline as a finished commodity by buying contracts and then cancelling them.  When oil was "at $150/barrel" airlines were not paying that, they were paying the real price, well under $100, on long term contracts.  So there's an argument that we might be losing that much there.

Alisea, you really should not be trying to debate energy policy.  Get someone who knows physics and engineering to do that.  The argument that demand for electricity is inelastic is drivel.  The demand for electricity is exactly as elastic as education on the options is prevalent - only the ignorant believe it's inelastic, because they're lied to by untrustworthy people *cough* Dexter *cough*.

Time for another planet check!

On planet Earth, conservation of energy applies. This is a physical law that ensures that not using energy is always the most economic strategy - always and necessarily better than generating and distributing it.  Physically moving around, as we usually do using fossil fuels, must necessarily and always take more energy than staying in one place.  Transforming one form of energy to another is also always and necessarily a loser compared to keeping it in the form it was captured in.  As a direct result of these physical laws, conserving electricity costs far less than generating, storing or distributing it, and it always will.  There's hard limits on how much less energy can be used for transport, and certainly very hard limits on how much road wear can be avoided regardless of the motive power source.  There are no such hard limits on how little energy can be used to do the same lighting or information job.

As a result, demand for electricity is far more elastic than that for other utilities, because absolutely perfect replacements for high electric consuming devices and habits are easily and cheaply available, and pay for themselves often within a year.  40 or 60 watt incandescent bulbs can be swapped for CLS which cost $1-$3 at the dollar store, bigger ones cost somewhat more, but all pay for themselves extremely fast.    Dimmers are easy to install on the few remaining incandescents.  Electroluminescent night lights at the dollar store draw 0.25 watts versus 4-7 watts for those with incandescent bulbs, again paying for themselves in under a year.  A $50-$70 convection toaster oven replaces a power-sucking $20-$30 model and pays for itself in less than a year.  A power bar or UPS cuts vampire power from wall warts significantly, and charging small devices from USB cuts it more.  LCD TVs are just as good as CRTs if you set them up properly and suck a fraction of the power of plasma.  Ridiculous unsafe should-be-banned electric heating devices can waste 3x to 10x the power of safe efficient sealed-and-filled-with-oil radiator-style devices.  I won't bother listing efficiencies possible in major appliances and opportunities to save heat.  I know people who heat electrically who cut their demand to half or a third of what they used to use.  Even just shifting to cold water washing and line drying saves a fortune.  Just do the math.  These days half of the power draw in houes is electronics - what does a laptop draw compared to a junker PC?  MP3 player vs. CD?

Doubling the tax on coal power and spending all that money on giving these devices to the poor, rebating all tax on them for the rest, is a great strategy.  But Dexter says he'll only help 1000 more poor people insulate houses.  The math just doesn't work out.

But then, the entire NDP campaign's math doesn't work - they can't deliver what they've promised - they *will* run a deficit.  They'll break those spending promises.

Feed-in tariffs are also pushing rope, it's just more subsidies to specific industries.  Ontario is breaking it's back subsizing many kinds of power generators - something a have-not province has no right to do.  The conservation-first strategy presently in effect in NS is the correct one, it just hasn't gone far enough. 

You want to take HST off electricity and put on a big fat carbon tax on the coal, I'm all for it.  Rodney MacDonald's biggest mistake is not running on energy conservation and solid waste and broadband Internet for rural areas, all of which reduces carbon and overall ecological footprint more than every campaign promise the NDP has made this year.  True wired broadband everywhere is a huge economic booster and attracts industries we'd otherwise lose.  This is not even debatable, you can read dozens of studies by dozens of governments that say that, and see dozens of places where it was done and had a big impact taking vehicles off the road and opening up entirely new industries.

No argument on coal being used far too long, but don't tell me the NDP wanted the coal mines shut any sooner than they did.  Everyone shares the grid / NSP mess because no one has proposed taking the grid over again for the public.  If Dexter wants to promise that, he gets my vote.  Until then, he's got no claim whatsoever to any credibility on anything to do with energy/electricity.  He's a coal fired liar.

 

remind remind's picture

Funny sounds exactly the same as the arguements  made against the BCNDP, and there was no truth in the BC accusations so I wonder just what truth there is in the NS elections?

And I for one would like to see you cite some evidence of this contention of yours:

Quote:
McNeil certainly linked the fuel tax cut to the cost of running a regulatory bureaucracy in the first debate.

As your statement saying such means nothing.

Moreover, people on fixed or low incomes cannot just go out an pay 70 bucks for a toaster, or buy a laptop instead of a pc etc...your diatribe is classist!

 

 

KenS

.

 

 

KenS

Marritimarr wrote:
Alisea, you really should not be trying to debate energy policy.  Get someone who knows physics and engineering to do that.  The argument that demand for electricity is inelastic is drivel.  The demand for electricity is exactly as elastic as education on the options is prevalent - only the ignorant believe it's inelastic, because they're lied to by untrustworthy people *cough* Dexter *cough*.

You are funny lecturing lecturing people about sticking to what they know. Try following your own advice: the demand for electricity is considerably more inelastic than the demand for gas.

 Not to mention, what makes physicists and engineers experts in energy policy

Your spiel that follows the above may even be a good demonstration of the problem. Those are all good ideas about how we'd be better off focusing our attention on getting people to conserve through simple product choices. But what does that have to do with comparing the merits of Dexter or MacNeill lopping a few cents off the price of electricity or gasoline?

moriarty

I'm missing Milton Chan's predictions!Cry  And I think he might be kicking himself now as well, given the amount of interest this campaign has generated.

He did write me back after I dropped a polite note asking why the NS election was being ignored by the EPP and he wrote saying that it was essentially because in the past the interest, and therefore the data, he and the project rely on for predictions would be lacking.

 

So David Young, thanks for the fix!

 

On the gas price issue.  Here, in Cumberland North, the Libs are clouding the issue.  Brian Skabar, the NDP candidate, has put forth a proposal to harmonize the gas tax near the NB border.  The Liberals came into town last week with the leader and their very weak local candidate to announce that Skabar's plan is no good.  They would rather make people here wait 4 years to get the price down by 4 cents, all the while gas tax money is being dropped over the border in NB (6km away and 6 cents cheaper).  In addition, they're way off base with this 'kill regulation' policy.

 

On the campaign here in CN and the preparedness of an NDP caucus to govern:

Skabar's solid on this one.  In fact, if the worst were to happen and an NDP majority government ran into the same preparedness problems as the 1990 ONDP, Skabar would be above the fray.  His backgorund's prepared him for the mess that goes along with running a ministry and he may hang on to this seat for a long while despite party fortunes.

 

The campaign is on its 3rd sign order, with 2/3 of its signs on private property.  Donations are coming in from business and individuals who have donated to others in the past, and this despite an inactive fundraising campaign.  The local daily newspaper has published a favorable editorial, and is covering all campaign events favourably.  Their online poll put the NDP at 45%.  The campaign has received two visits from the leader as well as one from Alexa.  There are rumours that some independent polling was done here that put the NDP and Tories at roughly 30% each, with Ernie Fage a distant third in the 17% range.  This is despite the fact that the Tory candidate (Keith Hunter) is well-known, but not well-liked and has a few issues staying on message in his campaign.  He made a fool of himself at the last All Candidates Forum, being openly laughed at by supporters and non-supporters alike.  It looks like the Tory vote is going to be quite strong despite Hunter's weakness and the Ernie Fage factor.

 

We are looking at 30-35% support for the NDP in this riding on E-Night.  It's going to be a close race, but between Skabar and Hunter, not Hunter and Fage as was predicted before the campaign began.

 

Two possible outcomes:

 

NDP GAIN (making this seat instrumental in forming a majority)

PC GAIN (aniti-climactic outcome of an exciting race)

It'll be one of the last to be called on E-Night, and the margin of victory will be .5-1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

alisea

LOL. You have NO idea of my background. Drivel, indeed. 

Elasticity of demand has nothing to do with whether conservation and energy efficiency measures exist. Elasticity is a very basic economics term which refers to the impact of price changes on consumer demand. No wonder you don't understand the essential differences between carbon tax and cap-and-trade systems.

Your efficiency 101 list has nothing to do with consumer demand in relation to price points. 

Stockholm

If the NDP is even in contention in Cumberland North that is quite extraordinary. In the last election that riding was one of the worst ones in the whole province for the NDP and i think they barely cracked 10% of the vote!

David Young

[quote

So David Young, thanks for the fix!

[/quote]

You're welcome.

I'll be doing another one on Sunday, June 7th, with my final predictions.

Here in Lunenburg, the Liberal signs have disappeared, at least from public property (there were so few on private properties that I can't tell if those are gone too!)  Not that the Liberals ever stood a chance here.

Stay tuned.

KenS

Stockholm wrote:

If the NDP is even in contention in Cumberland North that is quite extraordinary. In the last election that riding was one of the worst ones in the whole province for the NDP and i think they barely cracked 10% of the vote!

When considering the extent of change you have to keep in mind that disgraced ex-Minister Fage is running as an independent and splitting the PC vote.

Also, this is one of many ridings the NDP is running a serious and resourced local campaign for the very first time. This was an obvious place to do it- but others would surprise people as not looking very likely to go NDP.

Stockholm

If the NDP were to win Cumberland North - and perhaps also Truro-Bible Hill and maybe one of the Colchester ridings - sure it could lead to some momentum for a federal byelection in CCMV?

alisea

Stock, let's just get through the PROVINCIAL first here okay? -). And now that you've said that, go knock on some really, really large pieces of wood, please? PLEASE?

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

KenS, physical laws and engineering expertise certainly have to have the foundational role in setting energy policy.  Don't fall into Alisea's ungrounded pseudo-economics, where "elasticity of demand has nothing to do with whether conservation and energy efficiency measures exist."  Unfortunately it's typical of left-wing rhetoric that is actually right wing supply-sided abstract rhetoric in disguise, and has recently done immense harm to genuine efforts to reduce waste and improve standards of living for the poor.

?!?!?!?  Alisea's claim is actually worse than drivel, it's a pseudo-intellectual attempt to define a term technically among "policy experts" so as to avoid having to actually deal with the fundamental physical laws of the more specialized field where the phenomena itself is really studied.  Exactly what the con artists on Wall Street did by inventing new meanings for creditworthiness that separated the price of an instrument from its underlying value!  Let's hope Alisea never designs a hydroelectric dam based on her energy ideas, or tries to hook up a windmill to a dumb grid that isn't ready for it.  The real reason we don't have distributed renewable power is not so much conspiracy as pretend intellectuals who don't understand that the present grid sees them as unpredictable power surges and needs to be smartened up first... and somehow consider all the engineers who know this irrelevant, and smart grids not a top priority.  Instead they pile on "incentives" like feed-in-tariffs to do more generation, taxing conservers to pay for more generation.!?!?

Alisea says that "elasticity is a very basic economics term which refers to the impact of price changes on consumer demand."  Trash.  No economist would agree that demand is set based on prices for only one commodity, nor that consumers demand commodities directly.  The consumer demands working computers, heated and lit rooms, toasted toast, frozen fish, and doesn't give a damn how they get that.  There is no "demand" for electricity except insofar as the devices that plug into the grid require it, and you are ignoring the grid itself as a market.  Not only that, but a monopoly on the delivery of AC power (forget how it's generated) makes one-commodity price measures irrelevant.  Give me any monopoly in anything, let me control what the public knows about their choices, and watch me keep any demand high.

Alisea says I "don't understand the essential differences between carbon tax and cap-and-trade systems."  Um, yeah... that's someone else, I didn't say anything about that distinction.  Some real differences, for those who care and would like to learn about it from someone who does understand that economists do not get to redefine fundamental physical and infrastructure constraints, are:

- a carbon tax lets government decide how to strategically invest carbon charges, rather than trusting market mechanisms to choose how to offset carbon while government stands back and sets rules and makes targetted interventions as in a cap-and-trade market

- a carbon tax is far more amenable to public pressure, as politicians are easier to push around than a diverse market of people who must meet targets enforced by bureaucrats;  for instance the pressure to support domestic carbon offset programs not ones in other countries that are more effective;  usually this is dealt with by giving the public something, like, income tax cuts for the poor

- cap and trade relies on setting and enforcing targets that must remain fixed and stable over long periods of time, while carbon tax in theory could just rise when the goals weren't met, until demand for carbon emitting activities fell back, with the elasticity of each type of demand not having to be assessed by anyone - because the market itself would settle how best to minimize the total taxes - this is why The Economist likes carbon taxes just fine

The one aspect where the two do *not* differ is that the consumer pays the price.  In this respect it's fair to call a cap and trade scheme a "carbon tax", though it's deceptive because the other attributes are different.  Jack Layton was simply lying to the public by claiming a cap and trade scheme would not add to consumer prices.  Lot of that going around.  Dion's scheme was inadequate, the Green Party of Canada had a more realistic one that was far better for the poor, but the idea of taking taxes off income and other productive activity (which we hope people continue to choose to perform) and putting it on waste (which we can choose not to do) is sound, and the NDP defies it at their peril.  Carbon charges are probably like GST, we need them to get out of deficit and we know it is a better system (either as direct tax or cap and trade or a mixed system where government collects tax and deals in the markets), but ignorant people are easily manipulated with lies about it, and the public resists a visible charge even if it's actually more effective.

Alisea also says my "efficiency 101 list has nothing to do with consumer demand in relation to price points."  Amazing.  Either she is looking at some deceptively short time frame, like a month, or else, according to her, absolutely no consumer is rational, or makes any decision based on their self-interest, or is intelligent enough to realize that they can buy the cheap device and pay ten or fifty times its price in electricity to run it over its useful lifetime, or the somewhat more expensive device and and pay a fraction of the total price for both device and electricity overall.  The only thing that affects demand is the initial price paid for the device?  Or nothing at all?  Wow.

That logic speaks for itself, but, Alisea, if you really are incapable of logical argument, which seems to be the case, the entire history of water usage in North America is excellent evidence that an historically inexorable demand curve can simply be changed by effective education, intervening to support conservation measures, and so on.  Historically demand for water rose in lock step with industrial activity and population until the 1990s, at which point it ceased to, and remained flat.  Why?  Because it had to.  Same for carbon now.

Alisea, I really don't care what you studied or what you think you understand.  No doubt you can pick up a textbook and claim that something you read there has "nothing to do with" something else in another textbook, you sure do gain a lot of flexibility in your argument by ignoring the "underlying" real world.  But do a planet check, please, before arguing policy is independent of physics.  The real world is not a bureaucracy where fulltime staff in one department can make safe decisions without consulting anyone else.

According to remind, also, "people on fixed or low incomes cannot just go out an pay 70 bucks for a toaster, or buy a laptop instead of a pc etc." but they do pay for the electricity now, and that demonstrably costs them much more.  Low end Toshiba laptops, very good machines, have the screen included and so are comparable in price to desktops with only slightly more screen and hard drives - which are easy to expand if you need them.  So I am probably "intelligence-ist" but not "classist" exactly.  In a typical year low income people get so many things paid for by government that intervening to directly support acquiring efficient devices is not even inconvenient.  Slap stickers on efficient devices clearly stating an HST exemption, and the electricity savings over some period like five years, and rebate some portion of the savings to the public who buys them right at the retail store till, to thank them for not forcing a new generation plant to be built.  This is already what's being done, effectively, in the MacDonald NS conservation-focused energy policy where conservation competes directly with generation watt-for-watt.  Just bring that same logic to the consumer.  In other words, show them some respect.

remind, finally, you can see in the first debate McNeil mentions the fuel tax cut in context of getting rid of the bureaucratic price control and notes it's expensive and ineffective - clearly implying he's paying for the tax cut by getting rid of the control overhead, whether that's misleading or not.  It certainly would not be the first time in this election that someone misled the public deliberately.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

(now waiting to see people sort themselves out into three categories:)

- dipper = ordinary NDP supporter, usually sincere, looking for better policy ideas, not afraid to argue with the party brass or elite, makes a rational decision at the polls whether to vote to keep a more dangerous person out of office, or to vote for their own party, every time

- dipstick = NDP lifer, believes no one who is not can possibly be trusted or share any long term goals, may not even vote if they believe the NDP candidate has no chance, hates the Green Parties for existing at all (despite the fact that they exist in every democracy on the Earth and are never unified with 'the left'), believes the NDP has a right to all "progressive" votes, and generally drinks orange Kool-Aid;  can sometimes be given a few simple rote slogans or even logical axioms to repeat, like sheep, to penetrate media or public conscience

- dipshit = NDP insider, benefits directly from NDP campaigns succeeding, probably seeks or has held a fulltime staff job in a public sector union or the NDP itself, or an academic institution where NDP support is the default and not supporting them is treated with disdain at cocktail parties;  has no problem whatsoever repeating lies from NDP leaders, defending any policy whatsoever, claiming opponents lack integrity without addressing the logic itself, rote repeating definitions from one field to try to shut off debate about another, and other tactics typical of petty failed academics, incompetent middle managers protecting their jobs, fanatics and clowns to whom intellectual integrity is just two words that don't fit together all that well;  pretends "principles" guide their actions but change these at least twice per election cycle

(There's also a few of us on babble who don't fit into any of the three categories, but, eventually, someone will find a reason to kick you off.)

 

remind remind's picture

Blah blah blah blah :rolleyes: he basically did not sya a thing about it then, just mentioned it in the "context" of it all.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

Adma says:  And as much as we can look to Ontario 1990 as a negative case of "unprepared for power", I suppose that an example with more immediacy (chronological, if not ideological) was the ADQ's 2007-08 moment in the sun...

That analogy may apply more to the NS Liberals than any other party in this election. Anyone care to comment on the readiness of McNeil's team?  Like the ADQ, his suddenly-rising Liberals might well be attractive to a lot of people who don't realize how truly collapsed and confused that the NS Liberals were when they elected their last, um, "leader".  The NDP-NS seem at least to have a plan, though it's not their platform.   Whatever it is, it's deceptive and possibly deluded - the promises really don't add up.  But while the NDP backroom just ran some polls and put together some gripes into a bogus pandering brochure, one wonders if McNeil has simply copied non-controversial policies from every competent economist and infrastructure expert in the country and turned them into a platform without reconciling them properly.  His fuel tax position is a worrying sign that he may not "get" the underlying principles on which modern infrastructure, communications and energy policy is based.  Unless everyone is just pandering and lying to get votes, and intend to go back to the legislature to go agree on everything again.  Which at this point is the best that can be hoped, as no breakthrough in public conciousness seems to have happened - yet.

Notice that substantive issues like car insurance, which were dominant in the last election, have been nowhere in this one, despite the obvious connections to other energy and transport policy.  The media should be blamed more for this lack of memory than any party.

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